Welcome to Portland! Our lovely city has many nicknames but the main two are Bridgetown and Rose City. A brief tour around town will show you why!
If you are new to Portland and want to see some mustn't-miss landmarks while you are in town, check out these places:
The star of the city has to be the statue of Portlandia, installed in 1985 above the west entrance of the Portland Building (1120 SW 5th Ave). The huge statue is the 2nd-largest copper repoussé statue in the world after the Statue of Liberty. The easiest way to get there is to take the southbound MAX to SW Jefferson and SW 5th Ave. For the best view, cross the street to the Standard Plaza Building and ride the elevator up one floor. The statue is based on the seal of the city of Portland, and both the architect Michael Graves and the sculptor Raymond Kaskey won awards for the Portland Building and its "Copper Goddess", respectively.
The most striking features of the U.S. Bancorp Tower, affectionately referred to by the locals as "Big Pink", are its unusual shape and color. Because of the street grid, the tower features no right angles in its footprint, which makes it look either very slender or rather wide depending upon your viewing angle. The pink granite covering the building was quarried in Spain, and the glass used for the windows is also pink when viewed from outside because of its semi-transparent coating of copper and silver. Both the windows and the surrounding granite may appear darker or lighter depending upon the time of day.
Also known as Portland's living room, Pioneer Square is a public space occupying a full 40,000-square-foot city block in the center of downtown Portland. One of the more recognized pieces of public art in Portland is Seward Johnson's Allow Me, referred to by the locals as Umbrella Man. The bronze statue of a man in a business suit holding an umbrella is on the south side of the square, just above the amphitheater.
Weather Machine is a 33 foot (10 m) tall metal column topped with a large silver orb, installed in August 1988. Light bulbs on the side of the machine light up progressively as the temperature increases, and at noon each day the next day's weather forecast is announced with a fanfare of trumpets, flashing lights, and a spray of mist. The orb opens to reveal one of the following:
- a golden leaf sun, for a clear day;
- a silver great blue heron, to forecast a drizzly, misty, or overcast day;
- an open-mouthed copper dragon, when storms are forecast.
Dozens of all-ages events are held at the square each year, including free shows during spring and summer sponsored by local businesses. In 2006, the square was the site of an all-city pillow fight, and later an all-city slumber party. Pioneer Courthouse Square is also a venue for speeches, political demonstrations, rallies and vigils. On your visit to the Square, check out the paving bricks—they bear the names of the donors who contributed to the remodel of the site.
Powell's Books is a chain of bookstores in Portland, Oregon and the surrounding metropolitan area. Powell's headquarters, dubbed Powell's City of Books, claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. It is located in the Pearl District on the edge of downtown, where it occupies a full city block between NW 10th and 11th Avenues and between W Burnside and NW Couch Streets (Couch is pronounced "Cooch", by the way). It contains over 68,000 square feet (about 1.6 acres) of retail floor space. According to Wikipedia, CNN rates it one of the ten "coolest" bookstores in the world.
The inventory for its retail and online sales is over four million new, used, rare, and out-of-print books. Powell's buys around 3,000 used books a day. They also have a coffee shop!
For a smaller taste of Powell's, there is a branch down the street at 7000 NE Airport Way, Suite 2250 Portland, OR 97218
Guests of The Airport Sheraton can take the free hotel shuttle to Cascade Station, which features over a dozen specialty eateries and restaurants including: Buffalo Wild Wings, Panda Express, Famous Dave's BBQ, Red Robin, Starbucks, Jersey Mike's Subs and ParkStone Wood Kitchen + Taps. The shuttle can also take you to the Super Target for your shopping needs, as well as to the light rail station at the airport. From the airport you can take the Max/Tri-Met to anywhere you wanna go! For maps and schedules regarding our fine public transportation, please check out their website at trimet.org, or dial 503-238-RIDE (7433).
Remember when we said Portland is called Bridgetown and Rose City? Our other nickname is Beertown, and for good reason! Brew pubs have long been a substantial and important part of Portland's nightlife. The city currently has over 70 microbreweries and that number continues to rise. Portland is often considered to be the Beer Capital of the World! Many of Portland's breweries have become famous for their beers, shipping them all over the globe. Each Portland brew pub is unique and has its own theme and dynamic, but here are the top ten, according to USA Today:
Fat Head's Brewery is one of the newest breweries in Portland. They features 25 beers on tap including 13 of their own craft beers and 11 guest beers on tap from around the Portland area. The food is just as good as their beer. Locals tend to love their pita bread made from pizza dough. If you like soft pretzels you will flip over their giant pretzel that comes with three dips: beer cheese, spicy mustard, and honey mustard. Happy hour is Sunday through Thursday from 3 - 6 PM and again from 9 PM - close. ((503) 820-7721)
Oregon Public House has successfully combined two of Oregonians favorite things good beer and supporting charitable causes. The Oregon Public House serves a variety of food including vegetarian options. On tap you will find 12 beers including some gluten-free varieties. They have a rotating list of charities they support including the following: Friends of the Children, Friends of Trees, The Neo Fund, My Voice Music, Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, Black United Fund, Habitat for Humanity, and Compassion First. Customers will have a chance to decide where the proceeds of their food and drink purchase go to from a short list of local charities. ((503) 828-0884)
Kells Irish Pub joined Portland's craft beer scene last year when they opened their own brewery, Kells Brew Pub. Their new relaxed location includes an onsite brewery, a family-friendly restaurant, and a bar. Currently they offer three of their own craft beers, Irish lager, IPA, and Irish Red Ale. They also serve Guinness. They continue the tradition of serving Irish/English food like Shepard's Pie, Fish and Chips, and Lamb Stew as well as some American favorites, like nachos. On the weekends they open early for breakfast. Happy hour is every day except Saturdays. It's not unusual for there to be live music. ((503) 719-7175)
Laurelwood Public House and Brewery, also known as Laurelwood Brewery, is an relaxed brew pub for anyone, including families. Not only is their food and micro beers delicious, but it's all certified organic and free range. Laurelwood brews their own organic beers and often offer unique seasonal beers, with at least have ten of their beers on tap. For families Laurelwood Brewery has assorted play areas sprinkled throughout the restaurant that kids will love. Laurelwood offers a large happy hour menu daily from 3-6 PM and 9 PM - close. On the weekends Laurelwood opens at 10 AM for their delicious brunch. ((503) 282-0622)
Started in 1994 by two friends that grew up here in Portland, Lucky Labrador brews their craft beers from solar thermal water heating and without carbon dioxide. This microbrewery, along with its three other locations here in Portland, is a fun place to go for house-brewed beers and delicious sandwiches. The crowd tends to be the upwardly mobile young professionals ready to slake their seemingly endless thirst with tasty selections like Black Lab Stout, Stumptown Porter and Dog Day India Pale Ale. The pub occupies an old warehouse, sporting exposed wood beams, skylights and wood flooring. An outdoor patio is the ideal setting during warm weather months and it's pet friendly, too. ((503) 236-3555)
In 2011 Hopworks Urban brewery expanded by opening another environmentally-conscious brew pub, Hopworks Bikebar, a bicycle themed brew pub. They offer organic beer and fresh organic food in a family friendly atmosphere. Here you can sit in one of four sections, the family section with a play area, an outdoor beer garden, the bicycle bar, or the east section overlooking Williams. Hopworks BikeBar stays true to its name by offering 75 bike parking spaces, bike tools, take out specials for bikers, and two stationary bicycles in front of the restaurant that create energy to power the building when customers pedal them. ((503) 287-6258)
Deschutes Brewery brings the Scottish pub to the Northwest over in the Pearl District. They have 18 beers on tap which include Deschutes mainstays, experimental beers, and seasonal ales. Deschutes Brewery is best known for their Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter. They take pride in not only offering good beers, but equally good food. The food is locally sourced, often organic, and prepared fresh daily. They offer interesting food like deviled eggs, elk burgers, apple red onion tart, and rootbeer braised pork belly. Deschutes Brewery has happy hour Monday - Friday from 4 to 6 PM. ((503) 296-4906)
10 Barrel Brewing Co. opened a Portland location in the Pearl District in 2015 after getting its start in Bend, Oregon a decade ago and eventually joining the Budweiser family. Their Portland location atmosphere features high ceilings and a comfortable open air concept that's killer on a nice day. Even better on a nice day is their rooftop bar. 10 Barrel Brewing Co. has twenty beers on tap that rotate on a regular bases and is always a nice variety including hard ciders. The food here is just as good as the atmosphere, including some of the best pizzas in Portland. ((503) 224-1700)
Rogue brewery is located in the heart of Portland's Historic Brewing District in the Pearl, this location is the inside the former home of Portland Brewing and Bogart's, a long-time institution in Portland. They feature Rogue spirits and beers, distillery tours, outside seating, and pizza & beer delivery. They have 38 taps that include a selection of unique limited-release beers you can only find at this Rogue pub. Dogs are allowed to hang out here with you and they even have their own menu and enjoy free water. The best part is they are open 365 days a year. ((503) 222-5910)
Oregon's oldest craft brewery, The Bridgeport brewpub is housed in one of Portland's oldest industrial buildings. Covered in ivy, the brick Cordage Company building was erected in 1886. Since 1984 it has been the home both of BridgePort's brewhouse and restaurant. Artisan pizzas made in wood-fired ovens are the perfect companion to BridgePort's signature draft beers. The food they serve is not your typical pub food. Their chili verde is the best in Portland. Whether you sit downstairs or upstairs there are televisions for you to watch sports on. Located in Portland's trendy Pearl District, the brewpub is a great destination after the First Thursday Art Walk. ((503) 241-3612)
Want to take a stroll down the riverfront while you are here? Then you should visit Waterfront Park! Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a 36.59-acre park located in downtown Portland, Oregon, along the Willamette River. It is currently home to the Waterfront Blues Festival, Oregon Brewers Festival, Gay/Lesbian Pride Festival, and the Bite of Oregon festival. The park is also the host of many Rose Festival events. Speaking of the Rose festival, it starts around Memorial Day weekend, so you might catch a little of it if you try!
While you are at Waterfront Park, don't forget to check out our famous Saturday Market!
Founded in 1974, Portland Saturday Market is located in Waterfront Park and Ankeny Plaza in Portland's historic Old Town. The Market is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Portland, drawing an estimated one million people and generating annual sales of around $10 million. Everything at the Market is handcrafted by the vendors and is sold by the person who made it. The Market offers a unique opportunity for customers to meet the artists and often to see the pieces being made right in the booths. The Portland Saturday Market's hours are Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday from 11:00 to 4:30pm. Admission is free, and the food is amazing!
Welcome to Portland, and we hope you enjoy your stay!